Setting targets is no way to improve educational standards, argues former headteacher and now legal consultant to the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL), Richard Bird

Gallions Primary School teach their entire curriculum through the arts, to fantastic results. Co-heads Paul Jackson and Emma McCarthy discuss how

Recent government legislation has created new opportunities for multi-agency working in addressing and reducing exclusions from schools, says headteacher Neil Berry

Invite your pupils to become published music critics with the Bachtrack Young Reviewer programme

What can be achieved by SEAL over three years? Educational psychologist Cate Summers takes a look at results in the London Borough of Westminster

Can individual governors really make a difference? Joan Sallis looks at how and why governors should get under the skin of their school

Roger Smith considers ways in which headteachers can help their staff make the most of their careers

Have you taken ownership of your curriculum yet? David Morley examines how to break free, particularly with themed creative events

The role of family link workers is to encourage parents’ participation and interest in school life. Fiona Taylor shares her school’s experience in the benefits of developing this role

Deputy head Betty Port discusses how she looked at restructuring lessons to transform learning across her school

Many schools are happy to leave assessment of health and safety on work experience placements to outside agencies, but does this allow them to properly exercise their duty of care? Ruth Bradbury examines the problems and provides practical advice on how schools can play a more active role in the process

Deputy headteacher David Morley examines how best to provide feedback, how to prepare for it and how to train others to do it

The work of school nurses bridges health, education and social care boundaries

Eamonn Farrar, chief executive and former head of Hurworth Comprehensive School in Darlington describes how he developed unique systems of mentoring to transform a low-performing school into one of today’s top performers

Richard Bird, former headteacher and now legal consultant to the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL), looks at the wisdom of using the power to search in schools and concludes that there are often better options

How can a school best strike a balance between its uniform policy and its pupils’ right to manifest their religion or belief?

Yvonne Spencer looks at a broad scheme to improve outcomes — and explains its effect on local authorities and schools

Who are the parents who evade all forms of contact from schools and why do they choose to exist at the fringes of their child’s education? Jo McShane investigates

It can be daunting and isolating for children with few English language skills to start a new school. Education writer Dorothy Lepkowska reports on a new programme designed to help them achieve their potential

Ingrid Sutherland outlines controversial new guidance on the provision of sexual health services in schools

A study conducted by Pam Qualter and her colleagues at the University of Lancashire explores the role of emotional intelligence in supporting students as they move to secondary school

Seizure of personal effects can interfere with pupils’ human rights, so you need to make sure it’s done lawfully, writes Ingrid Sutherland

Heads must know, but not exceed, their powers when it comes to decisions on school dress, says Richard Bird, former headteacher and now legal consultant of the Association of School and College leaders (ASCL)

A new report considers why some children who did well at Key Stage 1 do not maintain the same rate of progress at Key Stage 2

An Emergency Protection Order (EPO) authorises a local authority to remove a child to accommodation provided by the local authority and keep him there

Are child protection referrals for 16-year-olds being accepted in your local authority? Jenni Whitehead examines the increasing difficulty experienced by schools in getting social care to accept child protection referrals for the older child

Many SENCOS work with looked after children. The results of a consultation on proposals to help children in care suggest ways of improving support for these children

Julie Leoni, head of emotional literacy at the Marches School in Shropshire, found her thoughts about attachment and trust challenged by the experience of acting as a support for a girl giving policy testimony about being sexually abused

Lois Canessa describes how she actively involved students in setting up a school council

Get set for a raft of changes to legislation and guidance — including rules on use of force, searching and confiscation, writes Ingrid Sutherland

OU lecturer John Ralston explains how teachers undertaking practitioner research into behaviour management for their Open University course have produced real change in their schools

Lynn Cousins looks at everyday behaviour management and behaviour policy and considers what the future holds in this area

How form tutors can raise achievement for all pupils and support the gifted and talented. Aim Higher coordinator Martin Ransley reports.

Toby Wood and Nick Guest describe how they have encouraged implementation of the SEAL materials in Peterborough primary schools.

Judith Harwood, senior regional adviser for the primary and secondary strategy, describes what one school has been learning from its involvement in the Social, Emotional and Behavioural Skills (SEBS) pilot.

Heather Clapp, until recently a behaviour and attendance adviser in Gloucestershire, presents thoughts and reflections on one authority’s experiences of engaging with the pilot programme for Social, Emotional and Behavioural Skills (SEBS).

Richard Gould describes the approach at Villiers Park Educational Trust

Collaboration is growing in 14-19 G&T education. Sandra Howard and Lis Stock of the Gifted and Talented Education Unit at the DfES look at some recent developments

The half sister of an adopted child applied for leave to apply for a care order, on the basis that once a year was not enough

Are child protection practices and procedures are adequate in cases of domestic violence and parental substance misuse?

Graham Haydon responds to the prominence of wellbeing in the news

Christine Fanthome outlines practical strategies for students to aid examination success

Could the school be held liable for negligence if it doesn’t tell parents after an incident?

Schools will have to be more aware of these particularly vulnerable children when they review policy and practice, writes Ingrid Sutherland

How can teachers raise aspirations for students who have untapped potential? Martin Ransley follows the lives of a group of Year 9 students.

At Belvoir High School staff help pupils set their own SMART targets while house days are used to help pupils develop strengths

Madeleine White illustrates how to engage teenagers in the world of work

Malcolm Rigler and David Loshak outline strategies to improve young people’s health.

In this article, Beverley Bailey outlines opportunites for working in healthcare.

Nikki Parker advises on how to help young people survive family disruptions.

Christine Fanthome outlines practical strategies for school and college leavers

Professional teams can make the agenda for change work, says Dr Nick Johnson OBE.

Cooperative learning strategies aim to promote feedback loops relating to assessment and reflective learning in the classroom at Fallibroome High School. Jane Gormally and Francis Power describe the developments.

A Case Study: Anita Brown, Deputy Headteacher, Ponteland Community High School, Northumberland.

We are constantly trying to drive up standards of teaching and learning with new approaches, preferably those with a strong evidence base. But is ‘What Works?’ the right question? Should we really be asking ‘How do good teachers get better?’ Elaine Hall reflects on the messages from a meta-analysis of teaching and learning interventions.

Antidote director James Park and development director Marilyn Tew describe the challenge that schools face if they are to address a decline in student wellbeing between Years 5 and 10.

Marilyn Tew takes a look at what the Nuffield Review of 14-19 Education and Training has to tell us about whether current strategies will improve the education on offer to teenagers.

The DfES, QCA and the National Strategies have got plans for changes to teaching and learning. Is this news? We have learned to live with change.

Reticence to engage with parents on the part of schools can be deep-seated. Teachers may not be aware of the benefits that parents can bring to the learning experience and the students may not realise that they will benefit too. Julie McGrane looks at how parental engagement can be initiated and how schools can find the forms of engagement that work best.

Christine Fanthome shows how students can gain essential employment skills.

A proposed change in the law would raise the legal age for purchasing tobacco. Peter Downes discusses the implications for schools.

QUESTION: What considerations should we apply when considering permanent exclusion of a pupil with special educational needs?

Schools should take note of new reporting and training requirements, as well as changes to appeal panel representation rights, says Ingrid Sutherland.

Former headteacher Roger Smith examines the impact of performance management guidelines – in particular the changes to classroom observation – and how they can be made to work.

Jenny Fox Eades writes about the Celebrating Strengths project, which uses the Christmas story to explore emotions around hope and spirituality

Former headteacher Tim Small, a member of of ViTaL Partnerships, introduces some excerpts from his colleague Ruth Deakin Crick’s new book on learning power and the effective lifelong learning inventory (ELLI).

Susan Johnson promotes land-based jobs for young people.

Paul Grainger outlines strategies for high-quality careers provision.

Aimhigher coordinator Ivan Holdsworth discusses transition years and the implications these stages have on students’ learning.

The key change to the curriculum at Key Stage 4 has been to increase the breadth of choice. Alan Monks, Deputy Headteacher, describes the impact on Ellis Guilford School and Sports College, Nottingham.

Sarah Blenkinsop and Marian Morris examine young people’s decision-making patterns, the role their school plays, the skills they require and other influences on the choices they make at core points in their school career.

The vocational nature of teaching has been eroded by successive government initiatives and we need to take action to preserve it, says Alex Alexandrou, chair of the International Professional Development Asscociation.

The British Standards Institution (BSI) is working on a new standard aimed at making school trips abroad safer.

Using NPSLBA to transform behaviour and raise attendance.

Daniela Sommefeldt tells how a national programme for specialist leaders of behaviour and attendance is empowering those who attend it and inspiring them to move forward to bring about whole-school improvements in their own school context.

Lisa Crosswood describes the benefits of a modular Masters degree in Education.

Bob Jelley, former head and now supply teacher, argues that success in improving school attendance lies in the hands of the encouragers, persuaders and mentors.

The government’s campaign to persuade more schools to offer extended services continues with the publication of new guidance.

The government has updated its guidance on exclusion from schools and pupil referral units.

Why do so many people think that giftedness is a ‘seriously wrong’ idea? Dr Ruth Cigman argues that the way forward lies in ensuring that we recognise genuine giftedness.

Neil Short looks at methods for supporting colleagues more effectively in the performance management process.

Neil Short looks at the second and third stages of the PM cycle: monitoring and review.

Helen Hann considers how we can support children and nurture their emerging mathematical concepts and understanding.

All policies should be discussed with those who will be involved in carrying them out and should be easy to understand so that they are not interpreted in different ways. Here we look at how to write an effective behaviour policy.

Former headmaster Neil Short examines the first stage of the PM cycle – planning.

Julie Jennings considers how you can go about monitoring the effectiveness of your Foundation Stage team.

Julie Jennings considers how to build your Foundation Stage staff into an effective team.

In this first of a short series on leadership Julie Jennings, an experienced teacher and educational consultant, looks at what it takes to be a leader.

The idea of using quantitative measures to evaluate students’ personal and social development can arouse considerable anxiety. James Park, director of Antidote, argues that there is a way.

Preparing students for undergraduate life can help them to make the most of university and achieve long term life goals, argues Dr Christine Fanthome

Robin Richardson writes in a personal capacity about DfES advice on countering racist bullying for which he acted as external consultant.

Dr Christine Fanthome argues that good planning is essential if students are to maximise the benefits of workplace learning.

In his regular column, Dr Graham Haydon argues that the decision to smoke is not just a matter of individual choice.

David Cattell explores the comparative strengths of vertical and horizontal systems of pastoral care.

In his regular column, Dr Graham Haydon suggests that reflecting on your own school can be a good way into raising wider questions about communities and the values they share.

Karen Garvin of ActionAid explains how the My Friend Needs A Teacher initiative helps students learn that they have the power to make the world a better place.

Lucy Marcovitch shows how progression and achievement in PSHE can be recognised, demonstrated and celebrated at all key stages.

Preparing sixth-formers for their first weeks of university life has long-term benefits. Dr Christine Fanthome describes how to make the most of independence.

Mike Walton examines the latest developments in the government’s efforts to make increased youth volunteering a reality.

Distributed leadership has the potential to transform schools, raising achievement and inspiring more effective practice from staff. Trevor Arrowsmith shows how.

Student voice can be a powerful tool in encouraging higher levels of engagement in learning leading to raised achievement. But many schools still have a lot to learn about making effective use of this tool in practice to bring about whole-school improvement. We uncover some of the lessons learned so far.

Networking to engage student voice

This system introduced a rota of Year 8 pupils as ‘Duty Prefects’, which raised participation and addressed elements of the Citizenship curriculum.

Headteacher David Dixon looks at the problems various forms of transition can pose for some children and suggests ways to help smooth those troubled paths.

Headteacher Mark Barnett remembers the trials and triumphs of transitions during his own youth and argues for a radical rethink on managing the process.

Most LEAs ask schools to fill in some type of referral form. This prompt sheet will help you bring together all necessary information before picking up the phone.

A recent survey by the Drinkaware Trust draws attention to the lack of information that 11-16 receive on the dangers of drinking.

A new campaign calls on the government to launch an enquiry into the impact of parental alcohol misuse and develop new services for parents and children

Whether you are taking children off premises to visit the local museum or taking young people away for a full five days, you need to ensure that every aspect of your planning incorporates safety and protection planning.

Raising awareness and dismissing myths is critical in establishing self-harm support groups says Steve Matthews of the Mentoring and Befriending Foundation.

An education social worker from the north of England reveals how she alerted authorities to the possible forced marriage of a 16-year-old girl.

A new survey draws attention to the lack of preparedness for dealing with epilepsy in schools. The survey was presented as part of National Epilepsy Week’s theme of ‘Educational challenges for children and younger people’. Epilepsy Action has also produced information and resources which SENCOs will find useful in advising colleagues.

In addition to its specific recommendations concerning SENCOs, the Education Select Committee has outlined a future strategy on special educational needs. The government’s response will have many implications for the work of SENCOs

Citizenship education is being integrated into curriculum planning across the UK. The following ‘steps to success’ come from Norfolk LEA, which worked with Norfolk and Suffolk schools on the Developing Citizenship project.

The Kwathu Project is building international links to teach students in both the UK and Malawi about the true meaning of home – at a local, national and global level.

UNICEF UK’s whole school change initiative the ‘Rights Respecting School Award’, has been informed by the Developing Citizenship project, as Heather Jarvis from UNICEF UK explains.

Top tips for surviving your first year at a new school, from teacher Ben Vessey

Bullying continues to hit the headlines. Despite the efforts that schools have made to get on top of the problem, three out of five secondary pupils say that they have experienced bullying. Former headteacher Roger Smith looks at ways of dealing with the instigators.

The DfES is to trial parent support advisers in 600 primary and secondary schools from September.

If schools are to help tackle self-harming behaviours, says the final Report of the National Inquiry into Self-Harm among Young People, they need to ensure that young people have opportunities to talk about their fears and anxieties.

Groupwork needs a bigger role in classroom practice, according to the findings of the SPRinG (Social Pedagogic Research into Groupwork) project, carried out over five years by researchers at the universities of London, Cambridge and Brighton.

Does the law help or hinder those charged with protecting such pupils?

Ingrid Sutherland cuts a path through existing, new and ‘improved’ guidance.

Amelia Wallington looks at the powers available to teachers of pupils with emotional and behavioural difficulties — and says risk assessment is vital.

What duty of care does a school educational psychologist owe a pupil and, if the psychologist is negligent, what damages will the LEA be liable for?

DOES the right to freedom of religion entitle teachers to inflict corporal punishment on children if parents authorise it?

Michael Wilson, Lecturer in Education Management, and Jon Prosser at School of Education, University of Leeds.

School culture is a term that curriculum managers are having to pay more attention to in nearly all areas of their job. But how do you identify what culture prevails in your school, understand the implications this has for your curriculum leadership, and from there make changes for the better? Jon Prosser, Director of International Education Management at the University of Leeds, shows how.

Since September 2005, as part of the new framework for inspection for children’s services, schools are expected to demonstrate how they are contributing to the five national outcomes for children stipulated by Every Child Matters and the Children Act 2004.

Clare Smale and Andrew Gibbons consider how mentoring encourages the development of a learning organisation culture

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